The biggest event so far in the short history of the Youth Platform is now over. But what were we up to those five days in Budapest? What is it like to take part at the European Youth Summit? Read this article written by a talented Austrian high-schooler and Summit participant Sarah Wolf.
When my English teacher asked me to participate in the European Youth Summit, I was not quite sure what to think of it. As I agreed to the offer, I thought of it as a five-day sightseeing trip to Budapest. Instead, I became part of an enormous and far-reaching project. With 17 unique countries being represented there, I had the opportunity to acquaint myself with a plethora of cultures. Looking back, I am more than happy about having accepted the offer.
We spent the first day becoming familiar with each other. Getting used to speaking English all the time was fairly challenging for me, but once I got the hang of it, networking became more enjoyable than I initially had expected. Not only did we take part in Get-to-know games, but also a joint dinner and an informal chat together. Albeit being anxious at first, the welcoming people there helped me getting comfortable.
The second day was mainly spent introducing us to the Youth Platform and the ETSN. Only then was I able to truly grasp the size and importance of the YP. After listening to the participants’ TED-Talks I was impressed by how much they had achieved at such a young age. Concluding the day, we had time to relax on a boat trip, followed by a city tour. This day inspired me to send an application letter to the Youth Platform.
With a workshop and a speech before lunch, intensive work on the charter in the afternoon and a lesson in Hungarian Dance afterwards, I can say that the third day was pretty exhausting. Despite the language barrier and complexity of the topic, I was surprised by our well-functioning communication. Especially working on the Charter was a memorable experience to me because I actually felt like changing something. After we were split into small groups we were given the chance to go over the charter that was created at the Youth Summit 2016. That day was undoubtedly one of my highlights of the trip.
We left our hotel early in the morning and headed towards the beautiful CEU to take part in a workshop by Be-novative. It was designed to inspire interested people to come up with their own unique ideas and projects. After brainstorming we evaluated our concepts and selected those with the most potential. Everyone was free to pick one of these projects and further develop it. Personally, I decided to work on “Cultural Exchange between Talent Centres/Points”, which I found very exciting since I was able to really involve myself in the conversation. Later that day, we participated in workshops directed by members of the YP.
Sadly, in order to catch our train, we had to leave early, which led us to miss the closing ceremony. But I still had the time to say my goodbyes, even though I wished I had not been in such a hurry. During the train ride, our teacher told us to write an article about the Youth Summit, which gave me the opportunity to pass the last few days in review. I realised how much I had learned and felt anticipation for the next EYS.
In conclusion, I can say that the Youth Summit not only helped me to develop my English and networking skills, I also learned a lot about the education and culture in different countries. I never thought this event could have such a big impact in my life.
Many thanks to Sarah for this article and sharing her insights about the Summit with us. You can expect more articles about EYS17 Budapest in the near future, so stay tuned.
Lukas Kyzlik, Project Manager of the YP-ETSN